Category Archives: philosophy

Succulent Surroundings

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The word succulent is a classic example of onomatopoeia, but that is not why I mention succulents. Succulent plants are a unique and occult niche in creation, designed it would seem, to endure certain harsh conditions and climates such as those found at the mountains, the coast, or the desert. Succulents survive and thrive on very little water, although some varieties like a lot of water too, as long as they can drain.

I enjoy succulents as a metaphor for aspects of God’s expression of Himself to us gardeners. Like God, succulents are found hidden and off the beaten trail, you have to seek them out, but then….they seem obvious, like they’ve always been there. Succulents are subtle and nuanced in their geometry and growth patterns…they are a little alien looking! God often seems alien to the disciple and the skeptic alike, although He tugs at them in ways befitting each individual’s internal geometry. In some cases, the varieties of plants in the pots pictured above took two years of being planted in my garden before they threw off the most beautiful flowers. Similarly, God often appears very slow at His gardening, at least by our needful schedules, and then He suddenly breaks through with something fresh and pretty and pleasing to our souls. Succulents grow and spread like wildfire under the right conditions, or perhaps more like a flood of stored nectar and power. The love of God is moving forward, always advancing, yielding abundance, and life and love and a better hope.

I have not written in some time, due to a general biz-y-ness and a writer’s block of sorts. Recently, we have had a bunch of sunny weather in Northern CA, and I seized the opportunity to update my feature garden. At that time, I wantonly created 5 smaller pots in a succulent-induced reverie. The sorta-block broke. Gardening and planting refreshed and calmed my soul, and God is always near the garden. To attain a healthier balance, I need more God, more garden.

Most of the varieties in the featured pots I either purchased,  or I received as gifts, or were “borrowed” from somewhere cool, that you have never seen, along the Northern Coast of California. 😉 The occasional bottle cap or wine cork in the arrangement signifies some excellent memory lovely Laura and I made whilst travelling along the coast. The Sea Glass I embellish the pots with I snagged from a location that I refuse to tell anyone else about!

My hope for you, generous reader… more God, more garden.